Prohibitory orders were enforced in Shamli district on Friday, and BJP’s Sangeet Som and SP’s Atul Pradhan were forced to suspend their marches to Kairana, the town at the centre of the alleged Hindu exodus.While Bharatiya Janata Party’s Sardhana MLA Sangeet Som was on a ‘Nirbhaya Yatra’ to show solidarity with the Hindu families that allegedly migrated for fear of criminals, Samajwadi Party leader Atul Pradhan was on a ‘Sadbhavana Yatra’ to spread harmony and expose BJP’s claims, which he says are false.
“We’ll follow the law. The senior authorities gave us notice that Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed, so we’ve postponed the rally,” Som said, “We’ve given a 15-day ultimatum. Either the [UP] government gets back the people who’ve migrated or we’ll have to [again] take to the streets. ”Meerut district collector Pankaj Yadav said the prohibitory orders were enforced over fear that the rallies could vitiate communal harmony in the region. The BJP legislator was stopped near Ganga canal, and Pradhan’s rally was stopped some distance from Sardhana town, Yadav said. “As a precautionary measure police and PAC have been stationed in heavy numbers. Section 144 is in force. No one will be allowed to break the law in this situation.”
The matter of Hindu exodus from the town in western UP erupted after BJP MP Hukum Singh claimed more than 250 families migrated from the city in the last two years following an alleged spike in crime against the community.
“To the people who are migrating from Kirana, I just want to give them a message that they are safe in Uttar Pradesh. And we will not let Uttar Pradesh turn into Kashmir,” Som told ANI before his rally was abruptly postponed. However, the BJP state leadership has steered clear of Som’s yatra. Pradhan, who contested the previous assembly election against Som, said: “Our motive behind the yatra was to spread the message of harmony. Therefore, we began our march with roses in our hands. ”Meanwhile, additional paramilitary forces were deployed at Kairana to prevent the situation from deteriorating.